Why Good Food and Drink Should be a Staff Benefit.

In today's competitive job market, companies are constantly looking at new, innovative ways to attract and retain top talent. From flexible working arrangements to generous holiday packages, there are a multitude of staff benefits that employers can offer to entice candidates.

However, one often overlooked perk that has a significant impact on employee satisfaction and retention is good food and drink. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of staff benefits in the UK and explore why investing in something as simple as buying a vending machine can make a big difference in retaining valuable employees.

Understanding the Role of Staff Benefits in Recruitment and Retention

In the UK, it costs around 26.1 percent of an employee’s salary to find and hire a new member of staff – that’s an average of £7,729 per new employee based on the average UK annual salary.

Understanding the role of staff benefits in recruitment and retention is essential for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge, helping boost staff retention rates and minimise the costs of hiring new employees.

Purchasing a vending machine or opting for a vending machine rental not only provides employees with easy access to quality food and drink throughout the day, but it also adds a great deal of convenience to the average worker’s day. This small investment can go a long way in improving employee morale, boosting productivity and demonstrating that the wellbeing of workers is a top priority for the business.

In some businesses the investment can be much bigger, introducing micro markets, branded coffee stations and other all-in food and beverage solutions. Not only this, but the food and drink sold through these setups is increasingly being offered at no cost to employees, an even stronger perk.

Examining Popular Staff Perks in the UK Job Market

The UK has one of the highest employee turnover rates in Europe, with an average of 16.8% of employees leaving their jobs per year, and with the worsening economic backdrop and an uncertain job market, this could become even more volatile.

When it comes to staff perks in the UK job market, there are several popular options that companies offer to attract and retain top talent and avoid their hires making up part of the 16.8%. Generous holiday packages, loyalty bonuses, private medical insurance and gym memberships to name just a few.

However, having access to quality coffee, food and other drinks in the office is something very few consider perk-worthy. Whilst some companies provide in-house cafeterias or subsidised meals, others are opting for a more convenient option – buying a vending machine or micro market solution to offer a range of great breakfast, lunch and snacking options.

This allows employees to have easy access to quality food and drink throughout the day without having to leave the office. And with many businesses losing staff to competitors offering better compensation packages, this is one perk you can put a figure on for money saved or fuel saved.

Successful UK Companies Championing Food and Drink as a Staff Benefit

Many successful UK companies have recognised the importance of providing quality food and drink as a staff benefit. These companies understand that investing in their employees’ wellbeing and satisfaction is essential for attracting and retaining top talent.

Some companies implement a premium hot drinks machine, offering a choice of coffee beans, syrups and milks, as a way to offset the cost that an employee would otherwise incur picking up a high street coffee on the way into the office, or at lunch. These premium bean to cup machines can help save pounds per day, with cups being as little as 50p, versus the almost £3 that the average high street coffee now costs.

For other businesses, it’s about fostering a great culture with food and beverage, having a fantastic open plan gathering space for lunches and snack breaks, with amazing fresh food to keep people healthy and engaged. These solutions allow employees to pick from sandwiches, wraps, paninis, sushi, fresh salads, soups and more, rather than having to spend their lunch break travelling to a supermarket, and hurriedly eating their lunch in the five minute they have left once they return.

Companies that have implemented this perk have seen an increase in employee morale, productivity, and overall satisfaction. Some examples of successful UK companies that have championed food and drink as a staff benefit include Just Eat, who offer free food and drink at weekly wind down events, and tech companies like SproutSocial and Asana.

How to Implement a Quality Food and Drink Strategy in Your Company

If you’re convinced of the benefits of offering good food and drink as a staff perk and want to implement a quality food and drink strategy in your company, we’ve put together a few tips into a handy blog article here. We’ve also summarised it below, in case you haven’t got time to read it all!

Firstly, assess your employees’ preferences and needs. Conduct surveys or informal discussions to gather feedback on what types of snacks and beverages they would like to have available. This will help you tailor your offerings to their tastes and preferences.

Next, consider the operational side of things. Will you purchase a vending machine or lease one? Should your coffee machine be fully managed or stocked by someone in your team? Regardless of solution, take your time and consider the space available in your workplace, as well as which spaces will have the greatest need for water coolers, office coffee machines and snack vending machines.

When you’ve established what your exact needs are, you’ll need to find the right supplier. If you want to outsource the whole package, you’ll need a reputable and experienced vending operator like Connect Vending, who will visit the equipment regularly to restock, clean and provide basic maintenance. If you want to do it all yourself, you’ll need to buy your consumables (like coffee beans and milk) and your cleaning products – Connect can help you with this too.

Communicate the availability of the vending machine and encourage employees to make use of it. You can promote it through internal newsletters, posters, or even company-wide emails. Let them know that you’ve invested in this perk to enhance their wellbeing and satisfaction.

Regularly assess and review the offerings in your vending machine to ensure that they meet your employees’ changing preferences. Stay responsive and adaptable to their needs, and make adjustments as necessary. If you’ve opted for a fully managed vending service, you’ll let the vending operator take care of this, as they’ll have a great insight into high and low performing products.

There is a huge amount for UK businesses to gain from offering quality food and drink on site, whether that’s in the form of office coffee machines, micro markets or fresh food.

If you’d like to talk about how you can offer best-in-class food and beverage to improve your own recruitment and retention efforts, reach out to us on 01865 341011 or send us an enquiry.